It’s a new year, and the economy continues to look up, but running a profitable business is still no easy matter. How do your goals for your spa business in 2014 compare to those of other successful spa owners?
The measure of success differs from business to business, and from year to year. The spas that have been around for five or more years have survived because they have ownership or management focused on results; these days that result may be that the business stayed open another year, or that revenue was more or less equal to last year, a victory of sorts. But to be sure, no business just “happens” these days.
Here are five common resolutions of savvy spa owners:
Pay Attention to the Numbers: Many of us came into the beauty business through our experiences as a technician and may have brought with us a lack of an orientation to finance and numbers. However, you’ve no doubt learned quickly that a black number at the end of the year makes everything else run so much more smoothly. Surviving spas pay attention to their finances on a monthly basis, and take action quickly if there are undesired trends. Pick three or four numbers to monitor regularly; some impactful suggestions are your service and retail revenues, labor costs, # of new clients, and overhead expenses. Keep a close eye on these so you are immediately aware of any changes and work with your team on impacting them in a positive way.
Compensation Motivation: We’ve been through this topic plenty of times; labor is your single biggest expense, and too many spas are working with compensation plans that do nothing to drive positive or revenue-building behaviors on the part of your technicians. Make sure that your spa is operating with a compensation plan that lays out a career path that benefits both the technicians AND the business. If it’s not, do something about it now!
Plan Ahead!: The spa is an ever-changing and volatile workplace, and if each morning doesn’t start with a plan for the day, you’ll quickly find that you are not crossing things off of your list. It’s easy to get sidetracked by daily dramas and take your eye off of the big picture; successful spa owners never let the daily grind distract them. At the end of each month, create to-do lists and meeting/education calendars for the next month, and stick to them! You can’t drive your business forward when you are working in it and not on it. Get your management team focused on accomplishing tasks on a monthly basis, then you’ll be ready to tackle more big-picture issues with a quarterly or bi-annual framework.
Set Personal Growth Goals: Your personal leadership is what inspires your team to perform at their best. But if you are not feeling rested, focused, and mindful, your tension and anxiety can trickle down and affect your entire staff. Spending time on personal leadership development always seems to fall by the wayside as busy spa operations demand your attention, and yet the positive impact of visionary leadership cannot be denied. Take time each week to read at least one blog on leadership issues such as this from George Ambler or John Hunter’s Curious Cat posts. A constant focus on your personal development will have immediate and lasting beneficial effects.
MBWA: Yes, you’ve got paperwork to do, interviews and meetings to conduct, but there is no more effective management tool than being perceived as “available” by both your staff and your clientele. Hopefully you have an office, but you must make time each day to Manage By Wandering Around – cruise around the spa, say hello to customers, do cleanliness checks, share a few smiles with the front desk staff. Customers especially like to know that the “boss” is keeping a close eye on their spa experience.
None of these resolutions are too difficult; it just takes discipline and focus. Create a plan, stick to it to the best of your abilities, and focus on continual improvement in both customer and staff experience, and your business will be around next New Year’s too!
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